Going a bit personal, continue at your own patience. I was born in a third-world country of a dad that finished his college at 35, while having a kid, waking up at 5 and sleeping after midnight, that would barely see me, as he had to make meets end for our family. Also it was in a currency inflation period and also my mother couldn't breastfeed me, so they had even more problems. Aaaand I also had a lot of health problems at birth. Shits hard. Not to forget that my uncle died shot in the head, mom died from cancer and 99 other problems.
But to me honest, that made me who I am today. I get much more anxious from my past, rather than some "changes in the company" and #firstworldproblems I have today, this gives me some edge against most of the privileged people I work/live with today. Anxiety isn't bad, it can also be good. It would be great if I could get rid of the one from the past, from the times I ate paper with salt, the struggle I saw from my parents, the times we were unsure of the future... and all the bad memories and images that pop up in my head daily.
My brother for instance was born 12 years after me, when my parents had a house and really lacks the "immediateness" I had all my life and still carry it up to this day. He now can study college but he doesn't even know what he wants to do, meanwhile I remember I was already grabbing life by the balls by the time I was 18. He is much happier though, and I can understand him, not really blaming. It is better that way, I guess. But things only greatly change when under pressure.
Those emotions are there for us, and as long as it doesn't create too many bad side effects, we should accept that they do exist and they are great for us.
A program has way more failure modes than modes where it is working properly.
I noticed years ago, that being attuned to danger (anxiety) helps me guard against many potential problems in software that others often miss.
But you have to be careful with this approach, it can be like playing with fire. It is very effective, but also can drain you if you over-rely on it.
I have to disagree here. "Being attuned to danger" is, that's an intellectual thing and is good. Anxiety is an emotional response which is unhealthy and affects behavior in negative ways -- e.g. not sleeping well due to worry, eating badly, etc., and those things will reduce your professional performance.
I also disagree that it's an "asset", I'll say already that I hate this type of language that turns everything into money, but from what I can tell and have read, being anxious/depressed/unwell is cognitive & emotionally taxing, and most way-too-anxious people have a hard time just thinking straight, so I think there's no way this this thesis stands.
I'm a very analytic/cautious/rational person and I think this is very related to being able to be a good professional, but I've also always felt that anxiety was poison and got the hell away from what I felt was sources, which I don't regret. I also think it's at least as much exogenous(i.e. environmental) as it is endogenous(i.e. oh you came from the factory with X so that's it). Relax is king.
That's not the same as being a bit paranoid.
Are you saying only people who have had panic attacks have known what 'real' anxiety is?
That is not a plausible claim. There are plenty of people who are anxious, but have never had a panic attack.
That said, anxiety taken as a whole is a severely debilitating condition. It's not even remotely close to being an asset.
And, I didn't mention it above, but someone mentioned that anxiety was the least useful response to stress, but I'm not so sure.
At the individual level it's difficult to experience the world anxiously, but it benefits the group.
Imagine a bunch of monkeys sitting around foraging for food. Some are super chill and don't startle easily, but there will be a few that are anxious and "attuned to danger".
Those anxious monkeys will likely be the first to detect danger and alert the rest of the troupe.
You could say they are providing a service to the rest of the troupe by offloading the vigilance onto a few individuals.
What you are calling anxiety is not anxiety, it's merely being hyper-aware, helped along with a small dose of Adrenalin.
 real ones, where you curl up into a ball, shaking, crying and wishing you were dead, whilst simultaneously completely believing you are dying.
It is possible to be predisposed to anxiety without ever having a panic attack.
If people reading this don't understand your comment, then please reread it and post a question.
Honestly, I faced this so much when I was in tech that the stress level became ridiculous.
Bessel van der Kolk has been one of the most important PTSD researchers of the last 40 years, and his work on the embodied aspects of trauma and stress is fantastic.
> Buddha got it exactly right: You need a method for taming the elephant, for changing your mind gradually. Meditation, cognitive therapy, and Prozac are three effective means of doing so.
-- Jonathan Haidt, page 43 in The Happiness Hypothesis (recommended!)
- Epigenetics and the influence of our genes | Courtney Griffins
But there are also other, probably more important, ways to "inherit":
- Placebo Effect VS No-Cebo Effect
- Dr. Bruce Lipton Explains HOW WE ARE PROGRAMMED AT BIRTH (an eye opening video)
- Biology of Belief - by Bruce Lipton (full documentary)
- Depression and anxiety: Have we gotten it wrong? | UpFront
- Causes of Psychosis
- 2011 - Liz Mullinar - Treating the core problem of childhood trauma.
About brain circuits regarding emotions:
- You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett
- Cultivating Wisdom: The Power Of Mood | Lisa Feldman Barrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYAEh3T5a80
The videos are already quite concentrated so I doubt that many lines of written text would be beneficial enough.
The main point is that genes are just blueprints for proteins.
Biology of Belief - by Bruce Lipton (full documentary)
The most important factors in life are determined by the social and psychological and external and internal bio-chemical environment. One has much freedom to change and improve these environments.
> Epigenetics most often denotes changes that affect gene activity and expression ...
> The standard definition of epigenetics requires these alterations to be heritable, either in the progeny of cells or of organisms.
The most important factors in life are most likely not determined by genes.
If you have the time, watch Biology of Belief - by Bruce Lipton (full documentary). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjj0xVM4x1I
Genes are just passive blueprints for proteins.
It is your social and psychological and external and internal bio-chemical "environment" that determines what genes are expressed.
They fuck you up, your mom and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can
And don't have any kids yourself.
-- Philip Larkin
I look back at my parents and see flaws in them from the ways they were raised, which I don't have because they worked so hard to make my childhood better. And then from them back to my grandparents, who despite their own flaws and challenges, mostly did far better than their parents.
Today, I read it with some black humor; I can't take it at face value at all. It's obvious to me that it's not the whole truth, but perhaps it's a perspective that it's ok to bring out once in a while. I guess, what I mean is, it's common to feel resentment towards your parents at times, and that feeling, too, has a place in the arts.
I came across this analysis of the poem; not least interesting is that Larkin may well have written it while living with his own mother. To stay too close to your parents in adulthood can be _very_ hard, in ways that aren't always easily seen from outside. Not from malice, but I felt it exactly the same way (the second verse is not a bad description of my grand-parents--in their worst moments; I knew them and I love them very much, but they were no saints).
Anyway, I think you have to read it with a good sense of dark humor. As the linked article says, they do, literally, fuck us up into this world, our parents. ;)
There is a response to Larkin's "This Be The Verse", by Richard Kell. While I agree with the spirit of it, I just think it's bad poetry. Not least that it starts with a moral commandment. It's like, "if you were born to 'bad' parents, they were 'bad' parents". Well, no shit.
This Be The Converse
They buck you up, your mum and dad,
Or if they don't they clearly should.
No decent parents let the bad
They've handed on defeat the good.
Forebears you reckon daft old farts,
Bucked up in their turn by a creed
Whose homely mixture warmed their hearts,
Were just the counsellors you need.
Life is no continental shelf:
It lifts and falls as mountains do.
So, if you have some kids yourself,
They could reach higher ground than you.
1. when it comes down to it, the notion of a disease is actually very wishy-washy. Is homosexuality a disease? The difference between yes and no has a lot more to do with cultural changes in the last 50 years than any science.
2. A lot of things are heritable, and could be health problems if you looked at them the right way. Poverty is heritable, and poverty also results in worse health outcomes, ergo, people below the poverty line shouldn't reproduce, right?
2. Let's set aside the heredity assumptions for a moment and go straight to the heart of the matter: As a proportion of the people who will be born in the next generation, would you rather have a larger or smaller fraction of them be poor for life? Why?
Or, you know, much it would in people if you stick them in a tube they cant wriggle out of, soak their bed, or blast white noise...
As a father, there are far more direct effects you can have on your children's well-being, like providing them with food, shelter, emotional support, life experiences, educational opportunity, etc.
And I'm willing to bet that taking SSRIs helps you function better so that you can provide the environmental factors above.
A very rough metaphor (and again IANA doctor or scientist, just someone who's struggled with this personally for two decades) would be, "Stitches help people who are bleeding!" Yes, that is true in some cases and under certain circumstances, but what we've been doing with antidepressant drugs is roughly the equivalent of treating every possible bleeding wound with some variant of stitches or butterfly closures. Very effective for some, not helpful for others, actively harmful for a minority.
this is astonishing - without criticizing this article - the emotional ping/pong effect of health studies in general is really crazy : as in "eggs are good for you again"
edit: to be clear : I'm not offering a critique of health studies in general of this one specifically; just an observation about the emotional response to these types of articles.
These sorts of discoveries really push towards a re-evaluation of Lamarck's thought, frankly.
Ultimately, we could interpret this mechanism as a trans-generational evolutionary defense against stresses (for instance, famines). But those mechanisms would themselves have evolved through the process of natural selection, and these "sperm influencing" cells would themselves be coded in our DNA.
That is to say, introducing a new kind of stress or environmental factor would not trigger any of these cells and would have no effect.
Correct me if I'm wrong but that's how I understood the paper.
I think if you disqualify the changes DNA _enables_ (rather than directly encodes) then you've moved the goalposts a little.
No, but the ability to learn languages is in our DNA
> I think if you disqualify the changes DNA _enables_
What our DNA enables is the ability to learn a language, not the language itself.
I mean I guess that is a possibility, but that would be incredibly generic wouldn't it? That a cell could somehow identify novel environmental factors and figure out what gene expressions to enhance/neutralize in the next generation to adapt to that novel environmental factor? Strains credulity.
Lots of animals starved, since there were animals, and the ability to tune the behavior on a time-scale of a few generations might have been valuable, so it might have evolved. The basics of our hormonal system have not changed much since very simple animals, I think.
They fundamentally don’t. Lamarckism was an explanatory model for evolution, and even if these results turn out to be true, they are not evolution. They are transient changes, whereas genetic changes are permanent. You need permanence for adaptation. Lamarckism fundamentally cannot explain the acquisition of new traits, only the (relatively short-term) modulation of existing ones. A good explanation of the difference, and why Lamarckism definitely failed as an explanatory model for evolution, can be found in Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker.
Jablonka’s hypothesis is widely regarded as falsified (e.g. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/05...).
Now we are seeing that there exist things which only MAY be repeatable experiments but reaching consensus falls outside of that particular method.
I think eventually we'll find a gradient of reality where natural selection isn't the end all be all, just as much as spontaneous creation wasn't either. Learned behaviors being inheritable genetically being just the tip of the iceberg. Heresy now, but I can see where this goes.
Some other interesting links:
> Alternatively, a reduced physiological stress response may reflect an adaptive response programmed by the paternal lineage as a protective measure, ensuring greater offspring fitness in what is expected to be a more stressful environment.
Interestingly, this doesn't seem to be associated with "serotonin in mediating changes in [...] stress", most commonly associated with SSRIs, which are used to treat psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc.
Of course malnutrition and other physical insults might also cause permanent injuries.
Going fairly out there, I wonder if this could perhaps be part of the cause of the current "obesity epidemic". If stress causes obesity in subsequent generations, and if we have obesity, maybe one explanation is that previous generations were extraordinarily stressed.
Maybe there were social changes that cause our modern lives to be more stressful. Or even just being more consistently stressful might cause the incidence to go up.
The genetic perspective is very limited however. Take soldiers in WWII. They didn't just pass their stress to their offspring. They raised their children differently than other men/women would.
That those studies that were done on children of holocaust survivor. How did holocaust survivors raise their own childreN? How did they related to them emotionally? And so on. I think it's quite easy to guess here that those traumatic experiences must have significantly affected their ability to be fully present as a father or mother. And typically this is the big black box. Nobody speaks about that. And how do you measure that, when the affected parents typically are unable to acknowledge that themselves?
I had minor anxiety issues, but fasting has helped me almost eliminate it. I experience a calmness and can figure a clear route now when faced with a situation compared to earlier when it would cause anxiety.
My SO has been mentioning this often now, which is external validation for me.
So I guess the lesson is while we may have stresses passed along, we must figure ways out to overcome it, hopefully there are and I am not denying that I accidentally discovered one!
The cells that are near the sperm transmit this data, according to the research. I bet a drug or even a dietary change could target that, just like flouride in water targets healthy teeth.
This is an instance of epigenetic inheritance.
As for your question, we don’t know yet (also because these results are still terribly preliminary). It’s conceivable that stress permanently modifies something in the epididymis (where sperm is matured), and thus affects all sperm coming thereafter. It’s also possible, though probably less likely, that only currently present sperm is affected. From personal experience, working with sperm samples is a pain — the transcriptional signal you get is incredibly noisy, and every ground-breaking interpretation should be taken with a grain of salt.
And after the fusion of sperm and egg, stressed sperm likely exhibits genetic damage (despite the topic on hand being non-genetic information), and this in turn makes it less likely that the zygote (fertilised egg) will be able to divide correctly. This leads to a spontaneous abortion of pregnancy — a process that naturally occurs more frequently than actually successful pregnancies (this happens within days of fertilisation and goes unnoticed).
So to answer your question: the egg itself probably doesn’t have a way of sensing this directly but there are many factors that indirectly have a similar effect. Stressed sperm is selected against.
It makes sense, and I would venture to say it impacts the expected lifespan of a species. That is, to presume the DNA from X (e.g., in humans 25 - 35 yrs) ago is just as worthy in the current environment, could be a false if not dangerous assumption. Supplementing DNA with more up to date information helps the species to survive.
Reminds of the recent series on the Radiolab podcast on gonads.
In particular how external factors like viruses can affect the reproductive material:
(But really, the whole series is fun)
The article is not clear about what the actual changes are; can't figure out if they are good or bad.
> “Well, you know how things are. We want to make sure we get only the healthiest, most on-point individuals for our program. We used to do genetic testing, make sure that people’s DNA was pre-selected for success. But after the incident with the Gattaca Corporation and that movie they made about the whole thing, public opinion just wasn’t on board, and Congress nixed the whole enterprise. Things were really touch-and-go for a while, but then we came up with a suitably non-invasive replacement. Epigenetics!”
Then, some doubts about it: